Jain World
Sub Categories of Jain Books
Books on Line
Book of Compassion
 

The Book of Compassion

 

Table of Contents

 

A Few Words

 

Universal Declaration of the Rights of Animals

 

My Visit to A Dairy Farm

  Dairy Cows - Life, Usage, and Sufferings (New York Times)
  Cows� Body Parts � Common Usage � Sale Price
  Recycling of Slaughterhouses Waste (Rendering Plants)
  Milk � Its Impact on Health, Cruelty, and Pollution
  Is Nothing Sacred? - Cruelty towards India�s Holy Animals
  Varakh (Silver Foil)
  Facts about Eggs
  Story of Silk
  Story of Pearls
  The Myth About Milk
 

Puppy Mills: Breeding Ills

  Alternatives to Animal Abuse
 

What Our Readers say about

 

Vegetarian Definition

 

Recommended Reading Material

  List of Organizations of Animal care and Nonviolent Activities
 

Excerpts - How our Diet affects the Environment

  Jain Books
  Catalog of Books in English
  Catalog of Books in Hindi
  Catalog of Books in Gujarati
  List of Books, Topics & Sub-topics and Authors

My Visit to A Dairy Farm


 

 

Pravin K. Shah

Jain Study Center of North Carolina (Raleigh)

Dairy Visit in USA:

I visited a dairy farm located on Route 2 north of Burlington, Vermont (USA) in May of 1995. The dairy owns approximately 150 cows. All of its milk production is used to make ice cream.

Here is the summary of what I saw and learnt:

    It was milking time (5:00 PM) and the cows were being milked in 3.5 minutes each by a machine. This is done without regard to how hard it is on the cow. It was extremely difficult to watch the cows' sufferings during the milking. The machine has no feeling. To extract the last drop of milk sometimes traces of blood get mixed with the milk.

    Every morning hormones or drugs are injected into the cows to increase their milk yield.

    Since cows produce the most milk after pregnancy, they are kept pregnant for their entire fertile life through artificial insemination.

    The gestation period of cow is 9 months same as human does. If a male calf, of no use to the dairy industry, is born, he is shipped to the veal industry within two or three days of birth. The evening I was there, the farm was shipping three baby calves in a truck to a veal factory. The mother cows were crying when their babies were separated from them. I cannot forget the scene and can still hear the cries of the mother cows.

    The veal industry is the most cruel meat industry in the world. It produces very tender meat that is considered a delicacy. The baby calves are raised in darkness in a very confining crate, which allows practically no movements. They are fed an iron-deficient diet. This way the meat gets very tender and properly textured. They slaughter the baby calves after six months. There is much literature available about cruelty in the veal industry.

    Within two months of delivery, the cows are impregnated again. I did not have the stamina to watch the process of artificial insemination that the farm was showing off.

    About four to five times a year, this farm would take the cows outside for a walk. Otherwise, the cows are tied in one place and they have no choice but to defecate where they are confined. It badly stunk when I was there; the farm would wash the confinement areas once or twice a day, and the remaining times the cows would live in their own waste.

    The life expectancy of cows is about 15 years. However, after about 4 to 5 years, their milk production capacity drops significantly so these cows are sent to the slaughterhouse for cheap meat which is used in fast food restaurants, hot dog filler, dog & cat food and a variety of other "foodstuffs". The rest of the body material (by products) turns up in the products like floor wax, pet food, medicines, insulin, gelatin, footwear, upholstery, taco filling, cosmetics, candles, and soaps.

    During her fertile life, cow delivers about four babies. Statistically only one female baby is needed to replace the existing cow. Hence all other babies (males or females) are sent to veal industry where they are tortured for six months and then slaughtered for the meat (delicacy meal).

As I learned and observed the cruelty in the dairy industry, I at first found it hard to believe. On a personal level, I feared that it would be impossible for me to give up the dairy products and become vegan (absolutely no animal product). How could I eliminate milk, yogurt, butter, ghee, and cheese from my diet? To become vegan means that I cannot drink tea with milk, eat any Indian sweets, pizza, milk chocolate, ice cream, eggless but dairy-containing cake, and many other items.

At this time I remembered my daughter Shilpa�s (who became vegan few months prior to my visit) word, �Dad, cows' milk is for baby cows and not for humans or their babies. No other animal consumes the milk of another species. We do not have the right to consume the milk of other animals for our benefit by exploiting and torturing them. Furthermore milk and its products are not essential for our survival or for healthy life�.

However, needless to say, the dairy farm tour made me an instant vegan.

Indian Dairy:

I also visited a dairy farm near Bombay in India in November 1995. I observed similar things. Overall, things were actually worse because there are few enforced regulations. Also during my visits to India in 1997 and 1998, I learned more about Indian dairy operation.

Many dairies in India do not own cows. Milk is supplied to the dairy industry by local cowherds who own the cows. The local cowherds generally own 10 to 40 cows and they do not use machines to milk the cows.

However they keep cows pregnant all the time for continuous supply of milk. Every year each cow delivers a baby. The local cowherds can not absorb all the baby calves that are born every year in their business. Hence they sell the baby calves (70 to 80% of them) to the beef industry where they raised the calves for beef and are slaughtered in three to four years or to an illegal veal industry where they are being slaughtered in six months. In the holy city of Palitana, I found a newly born calf lying dead in a field close to my cousin's home. After investigation I found that the cow delivered a baby calf in the field and the owner left the newly born calf in the field and carried the cow to his place.

Also after four to five deliveries, the milk yield of an adult cow drops significantly and hence the cowherd replaces the old cow with a young one and sells the old cow to a slaughterhouse for cheap meat. Only few cows (5% or less) end up in a cow shelter place called Panjarapole.